Florentino Perez has revealed that Francesco Totti turned down a transfer to Real Madrid during the peak of his footballing powers.
Los Blancos' club president spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport's Extra Time programme (h/t Football Italia) about a number of topics, including how he almost signed Totti from Roma 12 years ago.
The recently retired I Giallorossi legend was a wanted man when he was in the form of his life back in 2006, and Perez tried to convince the forward to move to Santiago Bernabeu upon taking up his newfound role in the Spanish capital - a tale that didn't end well for Perez however.
He recalled: “Totti is one of the legends that everyone wanted. Before 2006, at the beginning of my Presidency, I phoned him and asked him to come, but he told me couldn’t move from Roma.”
Totti revealed back in 2016 that he 'regretted' not taking up Perez's offer to join Real after he was given a standing ovation during a clash between the two sides in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
And it seems that Perez is also still thinking 'what if?' over his failed move for the now 41-year-old as his club looks to welcome one of Roma's Serie A rivals - Juventus - to Madrid for the return leg of their Champions League quarter final showdown.
Real Madrid lead 3-0 from the first leg and have one foot in the door of the last four, with a potential tie against Liverpool, Bayern Munich or fierce rivals Barcelona up for grabs if that trio also progress to the semi finals.
Asked who he would expect to face in the next round of the tournament, Perez added that playing La Blaugrana in the final would be a special occasion, but stated he was only thinking of securing passage past Juventus right now.
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He said: “Would we like to play Barcelona in the final this year? The important thing is to get to the final. It could happen, because I’d imagine we’ll play Bayern first, because we always play them.
“If we get Barça in the final though, I remember that this year we already beat them twice to win the European Super Cup, 3-1 there and 2-0 here. First though we have to eliminate Juve.”